Morning Security Brief: Chinese Telecom Firms, Bank Cyber Attacks, and Government Eavesdropping Immunity

By John Wagley

►The U.S. House Intelligence Committee has issued a report concluding that Chinese telecommunications vendors Huawei Technologies and ZTE could be a security threat to the U.S. The report advises companies and the government not to purchase products from the vendors. The telecommunications firms were not forthcoming enough during a committee investigation, according to the report, including not providing enough information on their ties to the Chinese government. But Huawei and ZTE have disagreed. “The ranking member of the Committee stated at the hearing that the investigation by the committee ‘"is not political jousting or trade protectionism masquerading as national security,"’ said Huawei, in a statement. “Unfortunately, the Committee's report not only ignored our proven track record of network security in the United States and globally, but also paid no attention to the large amount of facts that we have provided.”
►Capital One has become the latest of several banks to be hit with online denial of service attacks, in which attackers use servers to slow down targets’ Web sites. The bank has confirmed the attack, according to Bloomberg, but has said that service appears to have been fully restored. Capitol One also said it has no reason to believe that customer and account information is at risk. A group claiming responsibility for this and other bank attacks has said they are in response to a video posted online that some Muslims have found offensive.
►The U.S. Supreme Court has decided against hearing a lawsuit that sought to hold several U.S. telecommunications companies responsible for helping the government eavesdrop on U.S. residents’ communications. The court declined to review a lower court decision last year that dismissed a lawsuit by the nonprofit Electronic Frontier Foundation challenging the government surveillance program.


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